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Young Woman Dies After Being Submerged in Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park


A young woman from Taiwan visiting Yellowstone National Park has died from injuries sustained when she slipped into the Firehole River near Old Faithful, according to park officials.

The 22-year-old woman fell into the river Tuesday afternoon, a park release said. Lin Ching-Ling, a Taiwanese national, apparently fell into the river about 1:30 p.m. and was submerged for about five minutes before another visitor dived in and pulled her out from about 10 feet under water, the release said.

He then brought her to the water’s edge, yelled for help, and immediately began CPR.

A doctor and two nurses who happened to be in the area quickly took over CPR efforts, the release said. When park paramedics and rangers arrived, CPR was continued for about 40 minutes on-scene, when the patient regained a pulse. She was then taken by ambulance to Madison Junction where a waiting helicopter transported her to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

According to hospital officials, she was pronounced dead at 10:10 p.m. Tuesday.


I wonder if this occurred at the Firehole Swim Area off Firehole Drive south of Madison Junction...a beautiful location but also a place where I was always surprised at the lack of fatalities considering the relative risks of the river features (and large amount of cliff jumping occurring.)

It was in the fire hole swimming area. We were is very sad. Some of the members of her party said she could not swim. Not sure how true that is but that is what the one person said...very tragic.

Anyone know why it took five minutes for someone to go in after her?

Regarding the apparent 5-minute lack of attention, it seems unlikely anyone timed it on a watch, so I wouldn't necessarily put too much stock in that figure, though it may have seemed like forever. Also, it may not have been obvious that she was unable to swim or that she was at risk of drowning. There have been a number of articles recently about the fact that drowning victims usually don't struggle or call out (since they're usually too short of breath) so that may have contributed to the slow response among by-standers.

I too have always wondered that swimming is allowed in that part (or for that matter, any part) of the Firehole. Maybe it will be reconsidered in light of this sad event.

This is tragic accident and my condolances to her family. Drownings happen daily. Do we close all the lakes and rivers? Traffic accidents happen. Do we stop all driving? I have been to the area several times and it is an excellent place to swim and recreate while in the park for both visitors and park employees. No reason to suggest closing!

It was about 5 minutes....She passed right behind my husband and I. She was very polite and said excuse me....everyone had their eyes fixed on the boys that were jumping off the high rocks...that is why not a single person (my husband, myself and our two friends) out of about twenty people did not notice her under the water and the water is very deep in the middle cove. She was pulled from the lower end.

Well, cliff jumping is certainly prohibited. Lot of good it does.

This was an employee of the park, as am I. I'm saddened to hear of this loss. There isn't a "fix" for this; we can't say people need to learn how to swim or that it needs to be banned in this area--the tragedy has already occurred and life is gone. All we can do is warn others to prevent future occurrences.

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